- Old WWII CJ-2A Jeep that was constantly
conking out on Pat Brady, the bumbling cook and
sidekick of Roy Rogers "King of the Cowboys" and
Dale Evans "Queen of the West (& Cowgirls)" on
the western adventure THE ROY ROGERS
SHOW/NBC/1951-57. As Pat Brady drove around
Mineral City, the setting of the series, he had
the odd habit of talking sweetly to his Jeep as
if his verbal compliments could convince
Nellybelle to get up and go.
Roy Rogers chose to
include a Jeep into the program because he
noticed that after WWII, the Jeeps were real
popular, especially with children. Rogers
himself owned a Jeep which he used for hunting,
off road cruising and travel to and from his
studio. Nellybelle's license number was 3P5-388.
The word "Jeep" is
derived from the initials "GP: "G" for
"Government" and "P" a code for an 80-inch
wheelbase vehicle. Other possible origins:
"Jeep" is based on the initials "GP" which were
derived from the phrase "General Purpose"
vehicle or "Jeep" was inspired by Eugene the Jeep, a strange
animals who first appeared in the Popeye cartoon
strip in 1936.
The concept for the Jeep came from a Bantam
Reconnaissance prototype car built by the
American Bantam Car Company of Butler,
Pennsylvania company (“Willis-Averland”) for the
US army in 1940. After the end of World War II,
jeeps were made by the company “Kaiser-Jeep.” The first Jeep factory in the United States was in Toledo Ohio.
Over the years, the Jeep was built in the United
States, Canada, China and in Europe by the
Renault Corporation of France (who signed a
joint venture agreement with American Motors
Corporation in 1979) and finally before the turn
of the Millennium by the DaimlerChrylser
Corporation (who bought Jeep from AMC - then
owned by Renault - in 1987). DaimlerChrylser
currently produces three Jeep models:
the Grand Cherokee, the Liberty
and the Wrangler.
In 2009, the museum (Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson, MO) that housed the Nellybelle Jeep from the TV seires, closed due to a downturn in the economy and a decreased number of visitors.
In July, 2010, Christie's Auction House conducted the sale of items from the museum, including "Nellybelle," as well as Rogers' and Evans' performance outfits; the preserved remains of Trigger the Horse, and Bullet the dog; about 60 pairs of cowboy boots; the Rogers family dining table.
Back to Top